I’m starting to feel the slightest chill of fall in the air right about this time of year. Granted, I know that some of you have already experienced some early snowfalls, but it’s still fall in my mind. Fall is the start of comfort food season and soups and chilis start to make more frequent appearances in my kitchen. Naturally, I need something to go with these dishes and cornbread is always an easy accompaniment to whip up. This spicy cornbread has a little something extra in it: minced chipotle peppers and fresh corn.
You can find chipotle peppers in adobo sauce in most markets these days, and the smoky, spicy chilis add a lot of personality to this bread. One little trick I used here was to add the minced chilis into the butter as I melted it. This helped infuse the butter with a little of the chipotle flavor, so you get some spiciness throughout the bread, not just when you bite into a bit of pepper. I used fresh corn for its sweetness and texture, but frozen corn (defrosted) and fresh canned corn also work just as well in the bread. The finished product is a slightly rustic feeling, hearty cornbread that has a lot of flavor besides that of cornmeal. It is not particularly moist, but it’s not dry either, so it goes well with a smear of butter or a bowl of chili.
I usually make cornbread in square or rectangular pans, but I made this cornbread in a round cake pan. I like the way that the wedges look when the come out, and they’re even easier for dipping into chilis and soups than squares of cornbread. That being said, you could easily make this recipe in an 8×8-inch square pan if you prefer to or don’t have a round cake pan available.
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 tbsp minced chipotle peppers
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup fresh corn
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round cake pan or springform pan.
In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and minced chipotle peppers. Melt the butter in the microwave.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, salt and sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in egg, buttermilk and milk. Whisk until almost combined, then add in the butter-chipotle mixture and stir just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Stir in corn.
Spread batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the sides of the springform pan, or turn the bread out of a regular pan onto a wire rack, and allow the cornbread to cool. Cornbread can be eaten while slightly warm or at room temperature.